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Oktobermensch

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  1. What I can inferr from the debate and the situation is that americans really are at the crossroads and in need of examining their system (which they actively do). This kind of soul-searching, or "re-examination" of society was done by every society at some point, even several times, and it appeasrs that America was long overdue for one too. From a historical perspective US achieved great things and the constitution as well as founding ideas are something to be proud of, but the ideals really seem to have been abandoned or relegated to the second seat in the last 50 years, as US started to become the global power player after WW2. The acumulation of wealth in the hands of the industrialists and the upper classes is not surprising. The surprising bit is the time it took for people to realise this and the fact that the natural distribution of wealth in the society in the US hardly evolved from its colonial, selfish attitudes. Say what you will, but it seems tha American society appears to have missed one of the stages of social development, namely the managment and distribution of wealth, as well as the idea of pro-social behaviour in most spheres of life. Charity and can-do attitude are not enough anymore. These aren't colonial times where there was land or resources to spare and everyone knew how to till soil or live on thier own. Modern societies are much more dependant on mutual cooperation, especially in the workplace, something that in Europe is taken for granted and understood as a vital part of a society. Providing social net or introducing pro-labour legislation is not the end of the world but simply a necessity for a modern society. Same goes for for taxation and wealth distribution: upping taxes for the richest by a couple of percent isn't going to kill them or slow down investment if the only investment made is in the stocks or luxuries rather than in physical, productive capital.
  2. The only way you can make people consume less is by incerasing prices. This will happen naturally over time as energy becomes dearer. So far there has been little investment in substituting oil in transportation, and you forget that we also need it to produce fertilisers and maintain current levels of food production. And you can't "make" oil. You get crude out of the ground, and this source is getting smaller. There are still several decades worth of oil in the ground, but the switch would have to start now to conserve the oil for chamical and industrial purposes. Burning it in cars is bit irresponsible for me if you can organise private transport to run on something else.
  3. Well, the way I see it is unless you find a substitute for oil or disperse people to live in the country and provide food for themselves, you will face a lot of problems. You have the issues of distribution, access to fresh water and so on. There is plenty of space to go around, cities and human actvity takes up only 2-2.5% of world's surface. People will have to start consuming less, and meat will beome dearer, as well as all the stuff that can't be grown locally, like exotic fruits or freshh food in winter. Cash crops and industrial use of corn and other foodstuffs will also have to go, in order to slow down price incerases. If you reduced oil consumption for industrial and leisure purposes and shifted emphasis on resources managment, you could stretch the food production and distribution for the current system for a while, but a decline is inevitable. The best you can do is to make a smooth transition from one system to another.
  4. Ah , the Random Blue Screen of "I'm cooking eggs on my motherboard." Had a similar problem couple of yerars ago. Tried different things, just like Ross, and it came down to the motherboard. Unfortunately for me the thing just melted because of the temperature and it was a new motherboard for me. Lets hope that new heatsink will fix things.
  5. Civil Protection in medieval fantasy? God, I hope it won't be a pair of imperial guardsmen trying to arrest criminal scum the whole time....
  6. Boy, here we go again. When these people will learn that laws like that won't do them or the entire industry any good?
  7. There is no certainty when Black Mesa will be out, and Ross is already too far into the normal one to change it all now. Getting used to new maps, actually geeting to the place at which he is now and other associated jazz tell me that we better stick with what we have. And once HL is done then we will have a proper move to Source when Ross will start doing Freeman's Mind for HL2 (just a suggestion, not a statement).
  8. I guess that Freeman has certain proficiency in German, seeing how he spent some time in Inssbruck, Austria. You might also throw in Spanish, since it is one of the most common languages in US, apart from English. Dunno about the rest, I guess its just Ross making it more entertaining.
  9. I am starting to lose my mind. I don't know wether this is one long joke or Ross really stepped on someone's toes. This reminds me of the Freemans mind 10.5, that time I didn't know what to think either. You are one crafty guy Ross, you really know how to play with people.
  10. Heh, Poland, it sounds as if ross was suddenly teleported to a train headed for eastern Europe.... Also, its nice to see my countrymen are so active on this forum.
  11. Animals kill other animals to eat and survive. Thats biology 101. But when lions or wolves hunt, they usually go straight for the spine /jugular to kill their prey in a fastest way possible. Humans on the other hand often engage in inefficent and painful practices wheon it comes to meat processing. For example, it has been shown in pigs that when treated poorly, they release a lot of stress hormones which in turn makes the meat potenitally harmful/more unhelathy in addition to all other chemicals used. Simply said, decent treatment is simply a matter of respecting your food and in a lot of cases it is a matter of health safety, like clean cages, chikens without clipped wings and a fistfuls of antibiotics shoved into them and ton of other stuff. We put that in our mouths later on after all.
  12. It is quite interesting how the unrest changes (read: ramps up) the oil price, and how that in turn motivates further panic and unrest. Reminds me of a really bad day on the stock market, where panic and price change are linked so tightly that they start moving together simultaneously and any movement in one accelerates the other which in turn moves the first one faster and so on. Given how climate change causes further problems, I think that 2015 is not a bad date for the prediction, given the reliability of the sources Ross presented. Too bad that we won't have Mr. Fusion or flying cars by 2015....
  13. Wow. We actually get to see it before Black Mesa or Episode 3. I think that Ross should be in charge of timetable and work schedule at Valve, just get these guys up to speeed.
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